Murkowski declares Southcentral disaster

Posted: Tuesday, April 01, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski plans to ask for a federal disaster declaration for Anchorage and portions of Southcentral Alaska struck by powerful wind storms in March, he said Monday.

A state disaster declaration was issued on Friday, the governor's office said.

The storms struck Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough between March 7-14.

Winds clocked as high as 109 miles per hour forced the closure of the Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport and caused extensive damage to several areas around the Southcentral portion of the state.

Preliminary estimates indicate more than $8.5 million in losses were sustained by homes, businesses and public facilities, the governor's office said.

Anchorage reported $3.56 million in damage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough incurred an estimated $4.45 million and the Kenai Peninsula Borough reported $713,771 in damage.

The Alaska Railroad Corp. also estimates it experienced more than $350,000 in damages. Officials expect the totals to rise as additional damage claims are made, the governor's office said.

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